A suspected car thief was shot at close range when he pressed a gun into the chest of a Bronx officer.
According to police reports, the shooting took place at Summit Avenue and West 166th Street in the Highbridge a few minutes before 7p.m.
Dramatic footage of the scene was filmed by a bystander, and it shows the moment when the cops shot this suspected thief.
The man, 58-year-old, was identified by law-enforcement sources the following day as Ronnie Cole. Police added that he was armed with a loaded semi-automatic pistol.
Cole had just broken a window of a white BMW that was parked on Summit Avenue, when the officers from the 44th Precinct approached him, according to police sources.
When the officer went close to him, he claimed he had locked his keys in the car and was trying to get inside, a witness, Patrice Turner, told NY Daily News.
NYPD Chief of Department, Terence Monahan, told reporters at the scene:
“He produced keys that were not for that vehicle. As the officers began to put the individual under arrest, a struggle ensued.”
The suspect then whipped out a loaded pistol against the chest of one of the officers. This prompted the cops to fire.
After the incidence, the weapon was recovered by the officers.
According to NEW YORK POST, the cops shot the suspect three times: in the left arm, the chest, and the left leg. The officers weren’t injured in the shooting.
A witness, Cheryl Wyche, told a news outlet that the man was trying to flee the scene near the Dr. Marjorie H. Dunbar school, but the officers pursued him.
Wyche, 33-year-old, said:
“The guy was running toward the school. I know they shot him by the school. It was like three or four shots.”
When the paramedics arrived, the witness added:
“I just saw him with the breathing thing on his face. He was still alive. His hands were handcuffed on the [gurney].”
Another witness, who filmed the incident on video with her phone, told NY Daily News that the suspect was resisting arrest before the officers wrestled him to the ground.
In the footage, the man can be heard shouting:
“I know my rights! I know my rights!”
“It’s my vehicle!”
As the officers tried to put handcuffs on him, he resisted arrest, and one of the cops punched him twice while he was still lying on the ground.
Police Chief, Terence Monahan, said that the two officers had functioning bodycams which captured a clear view of the dangers that faced them.
“From the camera, you can hear the suspect say, ‘I have a gun, [expletive] die.’”
Police Chief added that one of the officers, who the suspect had pressed a gun in his chest, said that he thought the man was going to shoot him.
The suspect was then rushed to Lincoln Medical Center for surgery.
Also, the two officers were taken to the hospital for observation.
“This incident, once again, demonstrated the dangers of police work and how quickly incidents can escalate.”